I don't know where to go from here.....
I'm going to leave this here because it probably won't be read anyway. I'm a sentence in and if somebody managed to stumble across this right now they'll hit the back button or check the newest notification on their phone. I get it. I don't want to write this. I've tried writing it, I don't know what I want to share, how honest I want to be- because it scares me. It embarrasses ME. I don't know when this started, but it's been devastating. It's put me at odds with my family, my best friend and us ultimately our going separate ways after 20+ years. It's put me at odds with people in this industry for no real reasons, even people I like. A lot of people see it- my comments on social media and think it's jealousy and it's NOT. As I've read more and more on this- It's just how my ego reacts to me being depressed. It NEEDS to fight and defend itself even though I don't want to and even when there is nothing really there to fight about.
Unfortunately I've been trying to self medicate this with running my business and fly tying specifically for too long, and yea- when times are good I tend to be alright at least momentarily. But times haven't been good. Even before 2020, my business had been struggling. Not struggling to grow, but to pay basic bills every month. I didn't take that break in 2020 because I was burned out- I didn't have enough fly orders to cover my overhead. I owed Hareline an overdue invoice. Keeping the website going when I wasn't getting the traffic and order volume necessary meant it had to go.
Not having insurance meant that nothing was being done about the depression and anxiety I was struggling with mostly untreated for years. For me, depression hits so many different areas. I sleep a lot and at varying times. I've gone months with insomnia to months where I'm sleeping 12+ hours a day, to me trying the 5am wake up programs. I get panic attacks and think about horrendous outcomes. I'll think I'm about to die and start scribbling a will or trying to tell msyelf- "No"- as if anyone can say no to death. High blood pressure would come out of nowhere, scary numbers only to fade to normal. I remember at the one tying show I did- the "Fly Tying and Wingshooting Expo" I went and the one day just didn't leave my hotel room. I just stayed in the room tying flies because I didn't want to talk to anyone that day. I didn't know how to pretend that shit was okay when it wasn't.
For whatever reason I was never suicidal. I don't know what is in a person that makes them think or feel that way, but I never did. I'm not proud that I didn't feel it, and I'm not shitting on those that do- just clarifying. What I've learned is my depression is definitely cyclical- I'll feel well enough to start something and before it's finished- I'll flip 180. I went on a diet earlier this year and lost 25lbs over 3 weeks, spent a night in the ER, and in the month after I've put back on 30. It's gotten to the point where my dog gets happy when I simply change clothes or put on shoes. He knows I'll be going outside and taking him somewhere.
For a large stretch I stopped fly fishing. I would make the excuse it's because of orders I'm tying- but I just didn't want to do it anymore. I never cared about numbers of fish even as a kid, it was never the reason I was out there- but what was once almost holy to me became a chore that I couldn't be bothered with. It's fucked up that it could take something so precious to someone and just basically delete it. To keep myself engaged I would buy gear I didn't need or want and it allowed me to pretend I was still enjoying fly fishing.
I did go to the doctor today and I'm on a path to work on my health and mental health issues. I don't want to find the person I used to be before all this started- I don't. I don't want to minimize the experiences I've had in this life. Going backwards is the same as not going forwards. I just want to be a better me and tie a few flies along the way.
P R I M E F L Y C O M P A N Y